How to build a network when you’re new to the sports business

If you asked one of our recruiters what you should do to find an internship or career entry position outside of job boards, they would tell you to use your network. In case you don’t have one yet, this means building one.You might wonder why you need a network. Looking at the facts, you might just have graduated from a relevant field or bring all the essential skills for a sport job. Well, let’s put it this way: Internships and career entry positions in the sports business are in great demand. When you’re looking at the big players like adidas, Nike, Quicksilver & co, there might be hundred(s) of others who apply for one position.Even though you might be the best candidate, in the couple of minutes that a personnel manager needs to evaluate your CV, your application could be overlooked. 
A well-build network will provide you a second look, a longer time - or just land your CV on the table of the head of department instead.So, let’s build a network, shall we? We know exactly how hard this can be at beginning - where do you start? How do you make connections? 

That’s why we wrote this guide that should ease your first steps in building a successful network.

Where do you find your network?

Apart from finding connections in your personal environment, the internet never ceases to create ways for connecting with people. Especially for the professional network, social platforms like Xing and LinkedIn have the main purpose of connecting professionals. There’s no getting around setting up a profile in the long run. BUT: We know that - without prior expertise and being a rookie in the sports industry - it might feel a little awkward using social media to contact people you’ve never met before. Then, how do you make the acquaintance of business professionals in the „real world“? You could join a meeting of local groups of experts - or, when the awkwardness strikes again, visit one of the events dedicated to networking or recruitment which are more anonymous at first.With their fairs and events, the sports industry hosts plenty of great platforms to meet the right people in an environment which is made for connecting. The most common and definitely a must-attend for everyone interested in sport professions, is the ISPO Munich and its counterparts throughout the world and year. It’s where the who is who of the industry meets up.

Upcoming events to build your network

We’d recommend visiting one of these three events in 2018 which are perfect for career enterers and young professionals:ISPO Digitize Summit:
  • What: Information summit about the future of the sports industry in regards of digital transformation
  • When: 28th - 29th of June 2018
  • Where: Messe Munich, Germany
>> Explore the ISPO Digitize SummitSport Job Day:
  • What: A career fair for young career enterers and students who are interested in the sports business with info booths from companies & a unique Speed Dating interview format to take part
  • When: 13th of June 2018
  • Where: Paris - Stade Jean Bouin
>> Discover the Sport Job DayInternational Sports Convention
  • What: Sports conferences and seminars for 2 days as well as a grande Exhibition of 6,000 sqm to ensure business and networking.
  • When: December 5-6, 2018
  • Where: Palexpo - Geneva, Switzerland
>> All about the International Sports Convention

How to build my network?

You’ve made it to the event, and you’re now ready to meet as many people as possible! That’s when you should stop in your tracks right away.

1. Find out who to talk to

It’s a general known wisdom that quality is better than quantity. That also applies to networking. Before you just storm off in whichever direction, find out who’s at the event and which connections to make. Companies you favor, important recruiters - focus on meeting those. Again, Xing and LinkedIn will help you gathering needed information in advance.

For example, when you attend ISPO Munich, you might have read that Sportyjob has a booth. If you looked closely, you probably know that Andy Gugenheimer, Sportyjob’s CEO is there. If you checked his LinkedIn profile in advance, you’ll know that he is also the CEO of AG Sport Consulting, a leading headhunting agency in the sports industry. That’s a worthwhile connection.

2. Be curious and interested

You might want to network to score a job. If this is your solemn purpose in networking, you won’t come far. Just asking for favors or expecting help will push your connections away. A network relationship, like any relationship, is supposed to be mutual. You might think that you’ve nothing to offer as a rookie, but that’s not true. 

Asking about their own career path or their company and plainly showing interest is also a giving approach. It shows that you value the work they’re doing. Also offering your opinion on relevant topics in a dedicated conversation can be helpful. For example, when meeting up with Andy, you could let him know what you liked about Sportyjob - and also what you were missing. (Constructive of course). Feel free to assume that companies would like to improve their services and products - it’s a fact in at least 90% of companies.

3. Provide your contact data

We won’t recommend you printing your business cards. If it’s not a striking, unique design, it will probably be lost in the bunch of cards people receive at events. Have you phone close by and exchange numbers or straight away connect through a social network. When the event has passed, send them a message appreciating the acquaintance.Even when plenty of time passes before your next message, they’ll always see that you’ve been in contact before.

The aftermath: Don’t forget to take care of your network

So you managed to make a few contacts but what do you do afterwards? If you just let them slip, it’s a lost cause. Like in every relationship, even a professional network needs attention and care.It’s essential to stay in touch with the connections you made. It might be on a personal level like having a lunch meeting (in case that you get along on a personal level). A more professional approach would be meeting up at events that you both share an interest in. A simple information like „Hey, I will be at the ISPO in January - and it would be great to meet up“. On the other hand, keep up through Social Networks or E-Mail. Just asking for an opinion on a professional topic or sharing interesting content - because never forget that the foundation of a business network is your profession. So even if shared memes might be fun once in a while, don’t overdo it.

The ironical guide to score your dream-job when you’re not qualified

Probably everyone has been or will be rejected for a job once in their lifetime. The main reason is because of lacking experience or another more suited candidate. Well, this is not the time to give up! If you want your dream career and stick out between plenty of applications, you sometimes have to think outside of the box. You probably expect the regular advice like „use your connections“, „learn some extraordinary skills“, „spice up your application“ - well, no, we are done with this unsuccessful gibberish tips! Now, it’s time for some unusual (unethical) ways to gain your dream career.

The story of Mrs. Doubthire

Even though we all watched Robin Williams become a lovely older lady to see his kids after divorce, almost no one understood the true message of this marvelous movie. You probably naively believed this made-up story about separation and its effects on the family, too. Well, you’ve been fooled for years! In reality, it addresses a great way how to get the job you really want: with a petite (enormous) white lie! If your qualifications aren’t enough for the position you apply for, just change the details a little bit. Normally, it’s enough to copy the requirements straight away from the job ad and add 3-5 years of experience in the chosen field. If you’re a career enterer, don’t forget to also change your date of birth accordingly. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a brother who is a talented make-up artist, a new face-design probably helps a lot, too. Just don’t stick to closely to the movie - an attractive face is more likely to get you the job than the fat-suit and wrinkled mask of a scottish granny.

Another story of Mrs. Doubthire

So, hopefully this blog made you watch Mrs. Doubtfire again, because there’s another lesson that you could learn from the movie.Maybe you know that Robin was also hired because there was almost no one else who applied. Do you remember why? Right: He altered the job ad to scare possible competitors away. 
Luckily, most companies nowadays publish their free positions online, so all you need to do is hack their website! Depending on your own hacking skills (guessing your own password right is not considered hacking), you might need help to bring their website, or at least the ad, down. In times of deep web and bitcoins an easy venture. In case, you found the ad online in our sports jobs, we politely ask you to refrain from hacking Sportyjob.

Stick out of the mass

True to the old adage „In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king“, you only need to make sure that every other candidate is a worse choice than you are. „But that’s impossible!“, you say? It definitely isn’t. Just fill out hundredth of applications from made up people and send them over! You’ll rise and shine in between this big pile of s…pam like the holy messiah - a proven tactic well known in politics throughout the world.By the way, this hack works best in combination with Mrs Doubthire II.

„I will call you!“

How experienced are you in dating strategies? You probably heard about the „3 days rule“ claiming that to not appear desperate, you need to wait three days to call your dating partner.Sounds reasonable, right? So, here’s how we do it to score your desired job: Personally submit your application in the HR department, tell them how great it was to meet them and promise to call them in 3 days. Wait three days. Don’t call. Call one day later. Even though they actually didn’t like you at the beginning, they do now and are probably sitting next to their phone, waiting urgently. Congratulations, you are now hired.

Be the (evil) ray of hope on the horizon

Last but not least, the most effective strategy to be hired even when you’re not qualified. It takes a lot of time and effort, but for the ones who desire their dream career more than anything else, this is the leading way to success.First of all, you have to found your own business in the same field as your employer with the same pear group. Put in all your energy and money to be successful until your are the leader of the industry. After that, steal all their clients and lure a big part of their team away by offering more benefits and a better work environment than they do. At the same time, start a dirty press campaign to discredit them so that all remaining clients and employees also leave. By now, the company should be almost ruined - your moment to be the savior. Apply for your dream career again and you’ll be hired. At least, for the last couple of years before you retire.

How to do a Video Resume – Your 3 minutes to shine

How about extending your application to another channel? A video resume is a great chance to stand out and not only show your skills, but also your personality. Especially in modern times, it's a no-brainer to use the possibilities technology & the web offers for getting the job you want.  A paper or electronic CV (PDF or form), of course, is still required by almost every sports company. However, it's a one dimensional medium and limits your communication to the written word and a little design to express your character. A moving video, on the other hand, adds depth to your profile. Use it to introduce yourself, your communication skills, your confidence, maybe even your humour - precious soft skills that a lot of jobs ask for.

It might take some time to prepare, film and edit it. But: Your effort will definitely pay off for your job search!

If you want to give it a try: This is how to make a video resume.

The technology

What do you need for a video resumé?First, you'll need a video camera with a good resolution, 1080px or more. You don't want to send out a blurry video of yourself which distorts your face (in rare cases it might improve the situation, but don't count yourself as one of them).  New smartphones and notebooks actually do great videos, so you could even use a handheld device. Be sure to check the settings and adjustment before, so you film it in high quality.If you own a camcorder or can borrow one from a friend, this might be easier. Nowadays, most of them have a turnable screen, so you can watch yourself while filming. To get a steady picture, please use a tripod.After filming, you will need an editing program for your Notebook. To keep it easy, you'll probably need it mostly for cropping the video, so Windows Movie Maker or iMovie suffice.Since the file will be BIG, you can't just send it over via e-mail. The best way is actually to upload it to a video portal, Youtube for example, and add the video link to your application. Watch your username though - an application for a sport management job by user "ifarted69" might not be taken seriously.
Here's an example by Laura Harris who does a great job in introducing herself in only 2 minutes:

The setting

Try to choose a nice setting, no matter if just a white wall or sandy beaches - everything is possible. One of our candidates once placed her  video interview in front of a wall-sized window facing the alps with snow covered mountains behind her, right after coming back from Snowboarding. That definitely left an impression - especially as she was applying for a well-known winter sports company! Most suitable is a background that matches your personality and somehow sparks interest in watching your video. In any case try to avoid recording other people and better don't do your clip outside, unless you find a quiet place with good light.

Preparation

Dress up accordingly to the job you want to apply forPay attention to all the factors that you are also considering when having a real job interview - a good overall impression. This doesn't mean to dress up - a video CV is a medium to express yourself.  Dress like you normally would - this could be formal or sporty, depending on the position.Remember the candidate in the alps? Her fresh-out-of-the-snow look wasn't all tidied up, but fit the character of the company, showed her passion and love for outdoor sports and created an easy-going atmosphere for the introduction. That's one of the advantages of the video CV - you can really express who you are and what makes you special. Dare to be yourself and show it.

Wrinkles? No worries!

Who is concerned regarding discrimination - no worries, there has been a conference of the commission of employment law in 2010, with the outcome that video resumes have to be judged by the same, objective criteria as the written ones. That means you won't have any trouble with your holiday pounds or grey hair.

 

The content

When it comes to the content of your speech you really need to kick ass in these few minutes to get your dream management or marketing sportjob. This is going to be tough. To be honest, I tried endless times to make the perfect video. In the end I had to accept that there is none. Still, no one is flawless and your video will still be able to impress when done right. So, according to my own tests, here's some hints what to look out for:Make a planLet's start! And stop! After 10 "ehm" in the first 30 seconds, because I wasn't sure what to say, I can tell you: Starting to talk without any plan does not work. Unless you're a natural free speaker, then just go ahead! Work out a script, a red thread to follow.  Your video won't convince anyone if you stutter or jump from one topic to the next and back.Keep it shortNow fully planned, my agenda will tell you step by step what to do: Introduction – What makes you special – Why are you the perfect choice for this sport job. If, after 10 minutes of recording, you are still talking about your former experiences - that's too long.Set a time for the whole interview and each part. Less than 3 minutes will suffice to shine. The video is supposed to give the company a glimpse of who you are and make them curious enough that they want to get to know you. It's similar to a good presentation: Keep a clock in hand sight and decide how much time you want to use for each topic.  This way, you won't loose track.Control your body languageAfter your first recording, re-watch the material. Even when your language is optimized, you'll probably realise that your body language might be a little off. For example: Whilst watching my results, I am noticing that my eyes wander around the room, and after 1 minute I get a little too comfortable in my seat. Also, I am horribly waving my arms around at one point.A lot of people that try to be convincing are flailing horribly with their arms. There is no problem about that if you are having a face to face conversation, but if you only have a small display window to present yourself, it is better to be a bit reserved. Also, sit straight and smile, that shows confidence, you can even lean in a little - and look into the camera. When your future employer watches the video, it will seem as if you keep eye contact. That's great!Retry until it's perfect Probably one of the biggest advantages about this kind of resumé:You can try and try and try…

Taken as a whole, generating a video CV doesn't sound that complicated. Everyone is able to mumble for about 2 minutes into his webcam. Not having to rack your brains about phrases for your sportjob cover letter is nice as well. But unfortunately, it is not that easy.  Keep in mind that the situation is similar to a real job interview, your potential job employer virtually sits right in front you. Following this tips, take your time and put in a little effort to make a creative video resume. Good luck!

Try out video CV tool

Do you want to practice? We set up a video CV tool online for you to test. Our life coach Stéphane is guiding you through the process, asking you some questions - if you like, take these as a reference when filming your own CV. Let's practice: Visit our CV Box

How companies choose their employees in 2017 – JobTrends 2017

The JobTrends 2017 study shows how companies and personnel managers choose possible job candidates.
After graduation, it's time to score the first job and make an entry in our dream career. We try to be flawless in our CVs, want to make an unique impression to be the perfect candidate for our future sport jobs. But writing the perfect application is far away from being easy, especially if we don't know exactly what an employer is looking for in a candidate. That's why the german Staufelbiel Institut und Kienbaum asked 297 companies how they choose new employees and which criteria are crucial to be hired. Thanks to the study JobTrends2017, we get a great insight on what companies and personnel managers expect from a candidate.

The CV leaves the first impression

When receiving dozens of applications for a job, the selection needs to be quick. Personnel manager only take a few minutes to pre-select possible candidates for a job interview. That's why they focus on the CV for the first impression.
"On average recruiters spend less than 2 minutes in the selection phase, so give yourself every chance of success." Andy Gugenheimer in Want to work in the sports industry?
So, how to suceed? According to the study, your CV should be well-structured and clean. Spelling mistakes, a wrong adress or contact are absolute no-gos. Also, the following aspects need to be a part of it:
  • the final grade
  • language skills (a foreign language is a big plus)
  • in non-english companies: english skills
  • work experience, i.e. internships or part-time jobs
Don't be scared if your final grade isn't perfect: Companies prefer work experience over flawless marks.Still, this doesn't mean the letter of moviation doesn't matter. More than 70% of the personnel recruiters make their decision based on your cover note. Important: Keep it individual, no copy-pasting.Even though, more and more companies accept an application without a photo, 82% are still convinced that it completes the application

Soft skills matter

Let your application speak for yourself. It shouldn't only show your experience and hard skills, but also your personal qualities. Soft skills are crucial critera for every job. Personnel recruiters want to see your
  • initiative
  • commitment
  • communication skills
  • team spirit
  • performance orientation
  • willingness to learn
Just to name a few. All of these are important for 90% - 100& of all companies.

Economics, IT or Engeneering? What companies are looking for

The study asked companies from different industry sectors (automotives, banking, chemistry/pharmaceutical, consulting, trade and IT) for their desired studies. Overall, the most looked for candidates are economists. But also IT and engeneering graduates have great job possibilities in all sectors.Of course, this differs a lot regarding the business. In chemistry and pharmaceutical the most looked for employees were scientists - next to engineers.

The study by Staufenbiel: Further information

The questions also concerned salaries for career entries and internships, as well as contracts, possible benefits and more. If you want to know more about the desires of companies in 2017, you can find the whole JobTrends 2017 report to download here.

Want to work in the sports industry ? Some thoughts for your CV.

How to write and optimize your CV
After more than 20 years of experience I have seen more than a few profiles and CVs. I am happy to share this experience with you to help in the drafting and design of your resume. Here are my first thoughts.

Adapt your CV

If you work in the creative, digital, communication or marketing fields, it stands to reason that your resume has to be original: use color trends, dare to use a color or design you like and fully assume the resume you submit. However, if you're in finance, logistics, or HR, I recommend sticking to more traditional tones, but without sliding towards a sad CV.There are beautiful models for each profession. Choose a color you like, but this should be your only fantasy, unless you are a designer (graphic designers in particular).

A CV for each level of experience

If your profile is still junior it is not always easy to find enough content to put in your resume. You need to find assets in your out-of-office activities to bring out qualities capable of seducing a recruiter.If you do not have an internship or experience to write about, but you have competed in tennis to a good level or you are a golfer with an interesting handicap, you’ve got it! Your experience in athletic competition shows that you can surpass yourself, work hard, and demonstrate discipline and competition.For students and young graduates, aim to keep your resume to a single page PDF document. Be concise and write simply.However, If you have a profile of ten years experience, do not hesitate to put everything on two pages, and write about your skills and projects with examples, concrete facts, and supporting figures. Especially if you are in the Commercial field, figures must be commented and easy to understand.

The final touch (or French flair ...)

In addition to your CV on paper, to make it easier to read and to be on trend, you can add a link that redirects to your Linkedin profile. Why not add a QR code for the recruiter to flash and be immersed directly in your universe, or icons for each brand / company, to highlight your skills or interests.Whatever you do, you need to be proud of your CV: it is your business card, and must be the best way of selling your skills. Feel free to put your non-work activities on your CV; sometimes they are a great way to decide between candidates with similar careers. This is particularly valuable when applying to startups where hands-on qualities are indispensable.

Before sending ...

Remember to check and proofread your CV several times, but also by others, to avoid typing errors, which sometimes make a very bad impression on recruiters, who may even put your CV in the wrong pile. Remember to look at your LinkedIn profile and make sure you have the same content as in your resume and that the links work well. Time is often short when reading CVs. On average recruiters spend less than 2 minutes in the selection phase, so give yourself every chance of success this.You're almost there, but not before checking your Facebook account one last time, if you have one. Sometimes recruiters have a quick look there, and it will not make a good impression if they find only party pictures or information that will not help your selection. So either you need to clean it up or create a Facebook pro profile to show your professionalism.Good luck!

What if you didn’t get a response after applying for a sport job?

If you didn't get an answer to your application: Do more!

Again and again you are reading your cover letter, reviewing your CV and checking if the size of the PDF really is less than 3MB. Then you choose a subject, click on send and….breathe. The hardest part of the application is done – but after four weeks of waiting nervously and checking your inbox hourly you still haven’t got an answer. So, what next?

Don’t panic!

First of all: calm down. Usually one is hoping to receive a reply within two weeks, but in reality it often takes a lot longer. After all the applications are collected they are being revised thoroughly and discussed by a lot of people of the specific department and maybe even shared with other departments. This will take quite some time, especially if we are referring to bigger players. If in addition there has been a closing date for the sport job applications, it is assumed that the first examination of the applications will take place after that closing date.

Not even an arrival notice?

Of course it is annoying if there isn’t at least an arrival notice for your sport job application. If you just applied for a sport job at a smaller company feel free to send a request after two weeks. In case it is a huge corporate group you rather wait a few weeks more since personnel managers are likely to have hundreds of applications on their desks over there - then your call will only mean an unwelcome expenditure of work for them. That is why, although plenty of outmoded job guidebooks tell you to just call the HR department if you have any questions, we are rather advising against that – unless you really have a good cause to do so. By the way: the average time for sending out rejections is more or less two weeks, so a longer process time is not always a bad sign :)

Time has come!

When time has come to request the status of your application it is always a good thing to forward your first email (in case you didn’t apply via a special platform), so the HR people are in picture who you are. Who, in spite of this, is more likely to grab a phone, please make sure to prepare very well and don’t use those cliché sentences like “I just wanted to ask if my application arrived”. Just be humble, honest and calm and ask how your chances to be invited to a sport job interview are and when they expect to send out the answers. Sometimes a well conducted telephone talk can also be a big plus in the process of applying.

In summary this whole digging deeper thing is a bit critical – a few sport job companies are virtually waiting for you to call and others are really annoyed by that. Depending on the sector, company size and corporate identity you should be able to evaluate if a request will be cool or not. In the end it is always good to follow your gut instinct, just like always :)

How to survive an assessment centre

assessment sportyjob

You just found the perfect sport job, applied and got invited to an assessment centre, which in first hand just totally stresses you out. But what exactly is it, how can you shine in there and why do companies keep annoying us with it?

Assessment WHAT?assessment sportyjob

 

Never heard about assessment centres? Then it is definitely time to catch up, since they are increasingly common in all kind of sport job companies. Assesment centres are places, usually the company’s office, where potential employees have to show their hard and soft skills during a variety of tests, such as role plays, group exercises, interviews and many more. During those tests candidates have to prove themselves and show that they fit well into the company. Assessment centres are especially made to see how you cope under pressure and which role you will have in a group full of strangers.

Instrument of torture?

 

Firstly, an assessment centre is not meant to torture us, even if it really seems like that. Okay, admittedly, it will be nerve-wracking and at times you might be close to tears, but you need to see it as a chance. There won’t be so many days where you first found a company, then arrange a whole sales and branding plan and in the end pitch your marketing concept, so keep calm and try to have fun. It is not about life or death, only about a job.

How to deal with it?teamwork sportyjob

 

Try to focus and think about how you would approach the tasks if you really were in the job.  Prepare thoroughly before the assessment centre and try to figure out what kind of skills you need to have to fit the bill. Is it a management position? Then take responsibility and be the leader of the group. Is it an assistant role? Then try to help out and be a good teamworker. But most important: don’t dissimulate and be yourself. And if you want to use an unconventional approach just do it – companies love to see creative candidates.

And if it won’t work out with the sport job don’t be demoralized. Best thing is to be brave and ask, why the company didn’t choose you for the sport job and on this basis improve your performance in the next assessment centre.

We wish you good luck!